For example, the Chinese name for Israel is 以色列, which really means nothing at all, you'd have to shoehorn a meaning.
以 is never used alone, it's like part of a word, depending on what you put after it, the closest translation would be "as" but that doesn't cover it at all.
色 means color. This one can be used alone, though it's more common to be combined with something else.
列 means arrange, as in to arrange something, again it's almost never used on its own.
So this means as colors lined. It means nothing. If you forced a meaning it would be "As the colors are arranged" which still means nothing. The point is it's pronounced Yiselie, which sounds like Israel. The characters mean nothing, when they do it's pure coincidence. Palestine is hope force Slovakia flat. They mean absolutely nothing when used phonetically.
The only ones that have meaning are ones like Japan, which means origin of the sun, and that's just because they called themselves that with the characters.